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Web control

Web control

Web control

Is there a more up to date web browser control?
I am using Shell.explorer.2

An old web form no longer works properly due to age.
Any suggestions?


RE: Web control

See here: https://weblog.west-wind.com/posts/2011/may/21/web...

Rick Strahl describes why the "Web Browser Control is - by default - perpetually stuck in IE 7 rendering mode", but also, how you can change this.

If you still want to use something else, see thread184-1817644: fpcefsharp browser.

I don't find this very appealing, it is harder to set up - can't just be used right out-of-the-box s Shell.Explorer.2, and if you get it working has a long initialization phase. Maybe with the newest version of all of this, it could run faster. Because I just noticed today, that the latest Chrome version starts faster, they improved performance a lot. And that should also reflect in the Chromium base render engine that's the basis of the cefSharp browser. The main reason this isn't as easy to use in VFP is that it's targeted for .net C#, so Christof Wollenhapt has to do a lot of preparation in Visual Studio to make this consumable in VFP. And as far as I remember the video to keep up to date with cefSharp you need to handle a lot of details in that step to upgrade to a new version.

There are, I think, other natural solutions in the form of other ActiveX controls that render HTML. There's more than just wrappers of whole Browsers as embeddable control.


RE: Web control

I'd also be interested in seeing an answer to Alastair's question. I think there is a need for a simple control that does little more than render a string of HTML / CSS, with as few dependencies as possible. It wouldn't need to support all the features of a modern browser, such as HTML5-specific features or even Javasacript.

Such a control could provide an easy way of rendering rich text, as a worksable alternative to the Microsoft Rich Text Control that comes with VFP.


Mike Lewis (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Visual FoxPro articles, tips and downloads

RE: Web control

There is a commercial solution to add a Chrome browser as an ActiveX to your application: https://www.webkitx.com/

You have to download the 32-bit Developer Version.

I haven't tried it myself but would be curious to know how well it works.


RE: Web control

After trying everything (webkitx, fpcefsharp, ...), the best solution is Microsoft's Edge WebView2 control. If your a C++ programmer, you can roll your own: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/w... WebView2 is here to stay and will be embedded into everything.

If you cannot roll your own, then here is a very well behaved ActiveX control that we are using with great success: https://antview.dev/ - I can hear it now - some of you will complain about the cost - I say that there is no free lunch. If you are successful in your work, then you can bloody well pay for something that has value and we won't be having these ridiculous discussions about IE (dead), fpcefsharp (Christof Wollenhapt won't update GitHub after I offered to pay him), webkitx which is a joke - stuck on Chromium 80 Git for the last two years.

RE: Web control

Mike Lewis,

I'm sure I found an old thread of someone pointing out a HTML AciveX control other than what you recommended yourself long ago, the TxTextcontrol.
I don't find it anymore, but I find this: https://zoople.tech/viewpage.aspx?ID=PrintHTMLActi...
Its goal is to render HTML, also and specifically HTML5, not to act as a browser control. So it's for the display of HTML documents. And VFP developers are addressed by Zoople.

This might be sufficient for such needs as rendering and printing HTML - not to confuse with a HTML report listener creating HTML out of an FRX.
And Zoople offers more. Like https://zoople.tech/viewpage.aspx?ID=HTML5ViewerAc... and https://zoople.tech/viewpage.aspx?ID=HTML5EditorAc...

I don't trust Edge WebView2 to stay, vernspace. What has MS done for the web, that stayed? Remember as MS announced and promoted webparts as a future of web development? IE looks dead, Edge is embedding Chromium, and I think that means Edge WebView2 is a wrapper to Chromium, too. To me that's the end of MS own efforts of a render engine. But from what I learned from your reference it should be easier to wrap in C/C++ than it is to make use of the Mozilla Gecko or Chromium engine themselves and so as long as MS continues this it would be a simpler entry to the Chromium engine.


RE: Web control

Chris, I think the TX Text Control that you mentioned was this one. If I remember right, I suggested it to a client - it must have been about 15 years ago. I wasn't involved in the development of their project, but their own developer tried the control but decided not to use it. He said it was very demanding on resources and quite difficult to use. It was also quite expensive.

The Zoople controls that you mentioned look promising, especially their viewer control. I'll investigate these when I have more time, and report back.

Like you, I'm not keen on using Edge WebView2, if only because it would be too sensitive to the user's Windows version.


Mike Lewis (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Visual FoxPro articles, tips and downloads

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